Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHMSI) with multiple violations of the Texas Debt Collection Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), alleging the servicer's agents employed aggressive and unlawful collection tactics.
State investigators say the Coppell, Texas-based servicer failed to credit consumers for payments made, falsely claimed that homeowners did not make payments so that agents could justify profitable late fees or escrow accounts, and failed to properly credit homeowners after AHMSI agents withdrew funds from the homeowners' checking accounts.
AHMSI's conduct caused homeowners to default on their loans and ultimately led to foreclosure proceedings, Abbott's office claims. Abbott's office also took exception to AHMSI's claims that its home-retention team assists distressed homeowners, pointing to consumer complaints that AHMSI agents ‘were of no help’ in stopping the foreclosure process.
‘Some homeowners who actually obtained loan modifications found that their monthly payments increased rather than decreased, which worsened their problem with foreclosure,’ a press release from Abbott's office says.
The State of Texas is seeking civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation of the DTPA.
AHMSI is owned by Wilbur Ross & Co. LLC, and its servicing operations are located in Irvine, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Pune, India.